Friday, January 31, 2014

CA Lottery "Quarter Hands"

Directed by Tom Grabon
Copywriter: Jeff Richey
Art Director: Micah Alexander 
Quarters created by Chris Mills at Silver Shamrock Labs.
DP: Nick Novotny
1st AD: John Christensen
Make-Up: Amber Rae
Production Sound: Ben Spink
Sound Editor: Cameron Tacey
Editor: Joe Uhlarik
Cast: Mike Murphy, Alli Breen, Tatiana Amaro, Desiree McIntosh and Melissa Lopez, with VO by Andy Wasif.

Why this script/concept? How does it reflect your vision as a commercial director?

I love that it's an absurd concept that's basically played straight.  I try to make comedy spots with a slightly dark and disturbing undercurrent, like a lot of Tom Kuntz's work.  

What was the casting process like?

We had a fun and painless casting process.  The guys were all good sports about pretending their hands didn't work - they had to fumble and knock around a lot of stuff.  But they were rewarded by dancing and partying with all the prospective actresses.

How did you search for/lock a location?

I reached out to my old boss at RSA Films for a lot of the locations.  The office, bathroom, boardroom and even dance club were parts of RSA.  We were supposed to film the party at a club up the street, but they backed out at the last minute, so we just lit and dressed RSA's lobby instead.

How did you select your DP, crew?

They're mostly friends who are professional freelancers.  Nick had colored a couple of spots for me already, and I knew he was a good DP as well.  I've hung out with Nick's camera team before, and Joe has edited all of my specs so far.

Tell us about editing and finishing.

The edit took a while because we had overwritten and overshot for a :30.  We had to decide which jokes and VO lines to keep, and in which order. We cut about 3 different gags.  We also had most of the spot set to a jazz song before finally switching to The Strokes late in the process.  

In retrospect, is there anything you would have done differently?

Even though the party looks good, I would have made sure we had a real back-up night club.  

Any other thoughts.

Jeff and Micah were really great through the whole process.  The original script was for a specific St. Louis Harrah's promotion.  Together, we picked a new product and added some new jokes.  It was really fun and rewarding to collaborate with them.

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